10/24/15 – “Is Singleness A Burden Or A Blessing? 7 Things You Need To Know” – Shane Idleman
Singleness is a tremendous blessing if your life is focused in the right direction – but a tremendous burden if not. Here are 7 ways to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
1. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” The holy and unholy should not be mixed. Although this command is crystal clear, many read it with clouded vision. Some may say that they are a Christian but that doesn’t always mean that they are walking in obedience. Look for fruit produced by their lifestyle.
Many times, the problem isn’t that we raise our standard and miss it; it’s that we lower it and hit it. The Bible reminds us, time and time again that companionship, good or bad, influences character.
2. Don’t overlook a weak foundation because you like the view: “Swear…that you will not let my son marry one of these local Canaanite women. Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac” (Gen. 24:3-4). Abraham’s servant was told where to go. He didn’t visit local nightclubs or singles’ bars, he followed instruction to go back to his homeland and find a wife. Abraham wanted a wife for his son who knew the Lord. Had Isaac married a Canaanite, he may have easily embraced their false gods and been led astray.
3. Enter the relationship intending to bring not take. We read in verse 10 that the servant loaded Abraham’s camels with gifts and took with him the best of everything his master owned. The servant went out prepared to be a blessing. Today’s culture tends to ask, “What can I get from this relationship,” rather than “What can I give to this relationship.” Bring your best into the relationship. Enter the relationship intending to bring not intending to take. When you give, ultimately you receive.
4. Next, we read in verse 15… “As he was still praying, a young woman named Rebekah arrived with a water jug on her shoulder…” Prayer preceded the blessing.
5. Verse 16 identifies Rebekah as a virgin. A desire for sexual purity is fundamental in finding the right person or being found by the right person. I want to encourage those who are virgins to remain so, and those who are not, to make a decision to abstain until marriage. Remember, despite your past, once you commit your life to seeking God’s will, He can bless your relationship. If someone you’re dating isn’t concerned about remaining pure while dating, what makes you think they’ll be someone you can trust after marriage? Sexual Sin is idolatry. Deep repentance must take place.
6. Don’t rush – wait for confirmation. Verse 21 states that “The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not she was the one the Lord intended him to meet.” In deciding whether to date or to continue dating, take some time and observe their attitude and behavior around others?
Are they inclined to serve, or to be served? Are they critical, argumentative or defensive? Give yourself time to observe their disposition, and remember that most will be on their best behavior, at least initially. Observe them around their family, children, when under pressure and when upset. You might also observe how a son treats his mother and a daughter her father as an indicator of potential strengths and weaknesses.
7. Always ask, “Who’s really influencing me – God’s Word or the media?” That’s the key to success. Here is a simple story to illustrate my point:
When Matt was just four years old, his parents introduced him to a new friend. He was excited because he had someone to play with, and they were happy because their friend could baby-sit when they were busy.
As the years went by, Matt and his friend spent countless hours together playing video games and watching sports. In time, things changed. His friend began to use profanity and show disrespect to his family. Although his mother and father disapproved, what could they do? His friend was like a family member now. He taught Matt how to dress, how to act, and even how to treat others, and although his parents wouldn’t admit it, he taught them a thing or two as well. He showed them the importance of career and money; he encouraged his mom to pursue her dreams outside the home, and his father to continue his pursuit of financial success. Sadly, they listened to his advice; as a result, Matt rarely saw his parents.
Once Matt reached his teen years, his friend’s influence was obvious. Matt spent more time with him than with his family. Since Matt’s dad was always gone, his friend taught him how to be a father and a husband, and since his mom was busy most of the time, he offered to teach Matt about women, and how to treat them.
At fourteen Matt’s friend introduced him to sex. He explained how it wasn’t a bad thing; everybody was doing it, even with same sex partners. At this point, Matt’s parents became upset and warned Matt not to see his friend again, but he couldn’t end the relationship—he’d been his close companion for the past decade. Surprisingly, Matt’s parents allowed his friend to continue to live in their home. After all, they enjoyed his company and didn’t really want to see him leave—he was a great entertainer.
During the years that followed, Matt’s friend introduced him to alcohol, drugs, and pornography, and again assured him that everyone was doing it. Matt could see his friend’s point; he showed him literally thousands of people who agreed with this lifestyle.
When Matt grew older, he looked back over the years and saw that the friendship should never have continued. He believed that his friend’s influence encouraged his father’s affair, his mom’s problem with alcohol, and may have ultimately contributed to their divorce. His friend’s impact on his life was just as devastating.
Today, with full knowledge of the damage done, Matt still allows his friend to live with him, and, amazingly, he still listens to his advice. Matt’s friend has a name, it’s television.
Although fictional, Family Friend proves a powerful point, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7). Seriously consider WHO’S influencing you, and return to God if it’s not Him. He will redirect you.